Childress looking to spark basketball, bowling teams to more success

BALDWIN  —  Brandon Childress indicated earlier this week that some time in January, he’ll decide which sport he’ll be playing in college, and where.

In the meantime, Childress will be focusing on the rest of the high school basketball season. He’ll also continue to find himself at the bowling alley to test his skills as a high school bowler.

Childress has had up to 12 offers from Division I schools for basketball. He has also received interest for football as such schools as George Tech, Indiana and Miami (Ohio). He’s so far not indicating which schools might be on a short list.

Childress and the basketball Panthers are 3-1, having won three straight after losing the season opener to Muskegon Heights. Childress scored 39 and 29 points respectively in wins over Walkerville and Custer-Mason County Eastern prior to the holiday break.

“We have to still work on some fundamental stuff like boxing out and weakside help on defense, stuff like that,” he said. “We’re looking very promising. Guys showing up for practice is good. We have to keep working and we can have a very successful season.”

Kevin Dillard is settling into the role of coach after taking over the first week of practices.

“Coach Dillard came in the first practice and we felt comfortable,” Childress said. “We’re working on the system, and over the Christmas break that’s really helped to get that extra time to work on the system. We all know it pretty well.”

Childress points to the 72-22 victory over Mason County Eastern prior to the break as his team’s best game so far.

“We played defense, we let our defense dictate the game,” Childress said, recalling the Panthers picked up numerous steals and easy baskets off the full-court press and scored 39 points in the second quarter. “That was our best quarter. My best all-around game was against Eastern.”

The Panthers scrimmaged Monday against Buckley. They resume action Tuesday at Onekama and have a home game Thursday with Brethren.

“We need to come to practice every day, work hard and listen to what coach says because he knows what he’s talking about,” Childress said.

Childress and the Panthers expect to get huge tests on Jan. 10 at Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian, Jan. 20 at Frankfort and Feb. 7 at the Grand Rapids Union Showcase with Paw Paw.

On his recruiting venture, “it’s coming to the end of it and I’m looking to make a decision in January,” Childress said. “It’s still wide open. It’s been real tough. I’m trying to see the school that’s the best for me.”

He said he had a “nice” visit in December with a Georgia Tech football coach and might visit some other schools this month.

Meanwhile, Childress talked about his decision to join the bowling team along with other basketball players such as Maverick Fisher and Damon Nichols.

“I just wanted to do it, it’s my senior year,” Childress said. “I used to do it when I was younger with Nick (Miller, Baldwin coach). The bowling team, we’re doing pretty good.”

Throwing a bowling ball and shooting a basketball has no fundamental conflict with each other, Childress indicated.

The key is “repetition, getting up there and practicing,” said Childress, who has a 204 for a high game so far but figures he can get higher. “With some work and Nick with me, that will help, too. I try to get up there at least three times a week, plus practice.”